28th March 2014

IN HIS first statement since Wednesday’s takeover announcement, managing director Steve Ferres has described his return to Bradford as a huge honour.

The former Castleford, Wakefield and York CEO is relishing the prospect of steering the club, which provided some of his fondest memories of the game, towards a brighter future.

In a three-year playing stint with Bradford, Ferres was a two-time Championship winner, playing alongside some of the biggest names to ever don the red, amber and black.

He said: “I am absolutely delighted to be back, this is a club which provided me with some very special memories.

“I was last associated with Bradford – then Northern – from 1979 to 1981, which was a hugely successful period for the club.

“I am extremely proud of what I achieved as a player here and returning as managing director is rather special.

“It goes without saying that the best time of my playing career was spent with Bradford, I very much enjoyed the reception which my team-mates and I received over the period.

“We were back-to-back champions in those seasons and we also won a John Player Trophy here.

“It was a real privilege and a great honour to be part of a star-studded team, which included a host of all-time greats.

“Lining up alongside Keith Mumby, Nigel Stephenson, Jimmy Thompson, Colin Forsyth, Ian Van Bellen and David and Alan Redfearn – to name a few – was absolutely wonderful.”

Ferres has not wasted any time in planning the club’s short and long-term future, alongside chief executive Robbie Hunter-Paul and chairman Marc Green.

Super League survival is key to his plans for the Bulls, boasting a clear vision.

“I would like to think I bring a fair amount of experience from my time with Wakefield,

York and Castleford, as well as the four years I worked as a consultant for the Rugby Football League,” added Mr Ferres.

“Our immediate priority is to ensure we avoid relegation. Everyone knows we are some way behind the nine ball, but we are committed to doing everything we can to ensure Super League survival.

“From there, we intend to take the club forward in a controlled manner.

“We need to interact with our supporters, who are the heart and soul of Bradford Bulls. They have had to suffer a raw deal over the past few years and we will be working hard to win back their trust in the weeks and months ahead.

“In the medium term, we want to see the club competing at the level it should be.

“We will leave no stone unturned in helping Francis Cummins strengthen his squad, but it is no secret that clubs are reluctant to let players go during this part of the season.

“It is about numbers but it is also about timing for us, bringing the right people to the club at the right time.

“There is no hiding from the fact that this won’t be easy, but we are committed to delivering a squad and ultimately a club that our fans can be proud of again.”